As the year comes to an end, its time to make a few of those “best of x year” posts. My first one for this year will be about anime openings.

Before I get started, I feel like there is one thing I should note: I actually don’t watch a lot of seasonal anime. It turns out that out of the 4 anime seasons in 2018, I only watched 21 seasonal anime (Fall 2018 included).

The reason for this is that I only watch stuff that I feel I would like. I don’t think starting dozens of anime each season just because they are airing at that moment would work well for me.

While this means I could miss out on a lot of amazing anime, I do make the decision to occasionally pick up shows later on in the season if they are talked about a lot, or if I see signs that I would enjoy it.

The reason I’m telling you this is because when I’ll list my favorite endings in a later post, there will be a few situations where the same anime appears both in this and that list.

And also, I understand my approach to seasonal anime can mean I missed out on a lot of potentially great openings or endings that would be fitting for this list.

So with that out of the way, let’s start with the list!

10. Shoujo☆Kageki Revue Starlight Opening (Starlight Kukugumi – Hoshi no Dialogue)

Revue Starlight may look like your typical idol-anime.

But it is anything but that. It tells the story of 9 girls wanting to become stars, but it does it with a huge twist, and one that works much better than I expected it would.

There is drama, there is action, there is a shocking plot twist that even Madoka Magica wouldn’t be ashamed of.

And there is great music with an opening that sets the theatricial mood of the anime really well.

9. Boku no Hero Academia Season 3 Opening 2 (Lenny code fiction – Make my story)

A lot like in season 2, the second cour of My Hero Academia season 3 feels like the calm after the storm. The storm full of breathtaking action and in this season more than ever, emotion.

The opening reflects that in a way. I love the retro feel it gives me.

And that Uraraka moment before the chorus hits is so damn good.

8. Irozuku Sekai no Ashita Kara Opening (Haruka to Miyuki – 17 Sai)

It’s not the first time I’m talking about this opening, as I’ve made a breakdown of it already.

The visuals are really polished and the song feels refreshing like the early morning sun in autumn.

Which is fitting for a Fall 2018 anime.

Go watch Irozuku Sekai for a unique story about personal growth complimented with stunning visuals.

7. Steins;Gate 0 Opening 1 (Kanako Itou – Fatima)

One of the highlights of the year – Steins;Gate 0.

Or should I say lowlights due to all the pain and sadness it has provided?

In any case, it was fantastic to watch new Steins;Gate content, even if the waiting for each new episode part was really nerve-wrecking.

The opening song is amazing and the visuals include snow, which is the most important thing to take note of.

That last part wasn’t serious, by the way.

6. Harukana Receive Opening (Kana Yuki and Saki Miyashita – FLY two BLUE)

Since I already mentioned this opening among the 7 Openings and Endings that make you feel everything will be alright, it’s perhaps no surprise it made my top 10 openings of the year.

The OST of Harukana Receive is really one of 2018’s finest.

As is the eyecandy.

5. Yagate Kimi ni Naru Opening (Azuna Riko – Kimi ni Furete)

A few days ago I decided to pick up this anime. Just like with Harukana Receive, I’m not actually entirely sure why I did that.

But its not been a bad decision at all. 

The opening visuals are beautiful and while I understand this could be recency bias, the song is nothing short of amazing. I fell in love with it on my first listen.

4. Wotaku ni Koi wa Muzukashii Opening (Sumika – Fiction)

This opening sequence is great for lifting your mood. 

The song is catchy and those movements of the characters… You can’t help but smile and want to do the same movements as them.

3. Kokkoku Opening (MIYAVI vs. KenKen – Flashback)

Doesn’t it feel so long since the anime community was going crazy over the Kokkoku opening?

Everything about this sequence is special, and different from the anime openings I’ve seen so far.

It’s visually captivating and intriguing and the song is an absolute banger. 

2. Sword Art Online: Alicization Opening (LiSA – ADAMAS)

Another opening sequence I made a breakdown of.

I can’t help but lipsync the hell out of this song even if I don’t know most of the lyrics. It’s for sure the most hype-inducing SAO opening so far.

And don’t forget the epic visuals with iconic handshakes and sword synchronization. And that’s just a part of it.

Note that the embedded video is an edited version of the opening cause I can’t find the proper one anywhere on YouTube, sadly.

1. Sora Yori mo Tooi Basho Opening (saya – The Girls Are Alright!)

Just like everything else related to Sora Yori, the opening never fails to improve my mood and make me feel inspired.

Everything about this anime is a gift from the anime gods and I’m so glad I decided to pick it up after the Winter 2018 anime season. 

Cute, likeable and relatable characters? Adventure? Slice of life? Drama? Comedy? Inspiring and emotional story? Unique plot and setting?

Sora Yori mo Tooi Basho is all of that, and even more, so do yourself a favor and go watch this wonderful anime.

Do you agree with my picks? If not, what would you add or remove? I would love to know!

Irozuku Sekai no Ashita kara has been somehow overlooked so far this anime season, and I’m not sure why.

With its superb visuals, promising story and the main character that is facing the uncommon problem of monochromacy, I believe this anime deserves more attention.

Oh and the opening and ending sequences are quite good as well.

Let’s take a closer look at them.

The opening

The song, titled “17 Sai”, is performed by Haruka to Miyuki, a Japanese folk-rock duo.

It’s the first time their song was used in anime. Not a bad debut at all.

The song feels so fresh, and I don’t mean  the “uncommon genre or sound” kind of fresh.

Think of an early autumn morning with the sun shining through your window. You can also see dew on the leaves or the grass.

That is the kind of freshness I’m feeling when listening to this song.

Very fitting for the Fall season of anime, isn’t it?

In terms of the visuals, subtle seems to be the keyword.

We start off by seeing a bunch of paint brushes next to sinks. This is a scene from the clubroom shared by the Photography and Arts clubs.

Hitomi is seen going upstairs.

We see more of the school, including the getabako, the shoe cupboard.

What follows is this beautiful transition from monochrome to color. I love the way this Opening is referring to Hitomi’s monochromacy.

I assume these stairs are the same ones Hitomi used in the earlier shot.

She is then seen standing on a bridge.

Back to people on stairs. This is our first shot of Yuito.

Followed by the cute first appearance of Kohaku. A tram is approaching, but she doesn’t seem to care about it.

Instead, she crosses the road and does a 360 turn for good measure. Because why not?

Shou and Asagi are then seen together…

…while Chigusa does a good job of dodging Kurumi’s attempts to hit him with a bag. Way to quickly show their character dynamics.

Nice looking planets.

A shadow of Hitomi.

And then the night sky with her reflection. She seems to be hugging something yellow.

Vials with magical substances. Again with the color transition. So satisfying to watch.

A shot of the school during the setting sun soon follows, until we get the closest shot of Hitomi yet.

A ladybug is on a yellow flower, followed by more color transitions, this time with fireworks.

Shots of characters running never fail to give me this sense of urgency. This opening is no exception.

Put the running shots right when the song reaches its peak, and you get a sequence that just really works well for me.

The first to run is Hitomi.

The star-sand watch used on Hitomi by the grandma Kohaku, a camera len, and a traffic mirror are used for the transition to Yuito’s running…

…and the young Kohaku is seen running near the sea.

After more shots of the school, and a bit of the city, we get these pretty transitions.

They are a reference to what Hitomi was seeing when she looked at Yuito’s drawings…

…and a reference to the end of episode 5.

I’m pretty sure the fish has something to do with Hitomi’s magic.

After another closer shot of Hitomi…

…we get the backshot of all the members of the photography, arts and magic clubs.

And the sequence comes to an end with more shots of the scenery and Hitomi’s bedroom.

The ending

The ending song is titled “Mimei no Kimi to Hakumei no Mahou”. It is performed by Nagi Yanagi.

It’s the same Nagi Yanagi that has performed openings for Just Because and for Oregairu – which I very recently finished.

The ending song for this anime is amazing.

It has a mysterious, dramatic vibe.

I’m almost scared of seeing what kind of drama is about to happen because the feel of this song is suggesting something big.

Visually everything works beautifully, night scenery is exactly what this song needed.

There is not a lot of actual animation in the ending sequence, but I do not feel it is actually needed here.

Conclusion

The opening is one of the most polished ones I’ve seen in recent times.

I love the refreshing feeling I have when I watch the opening.

The transitions from monochrome to full color are a really nice way to present Hitomi’s monochromacy.

 

The ending has a darker tone than the opening. The song blends perfectly with the visuals.

It makes me feel intrigued for what is about to come.

 

Check out my first impressions post on this anime!

What do you think about the Irozuku OP and ED? How do you like the anime so far? Let me know in the comments!

Synopsis

The original 13-episode anime Irozuku Sekai no Ashita kara is a story set “in a world where a minuscule amount of magic remains in everyday life”. The 17-year old Hitomi Tsukishiro is the main character born in a witch family. She lost her sense of color at a very young age.

Her grandmother, Kohaku, sends her back in time to the year 2018. After a strange bus ride, Hitomi finds herself in the house of Yuito Aoi. She manages to leave the house without being noticed by Yuito, but his friends saw her leaving from the window of the house, which they quickly spread to everyone else.

A bit later on, after seeing Hitomi trip, they approach her and ask her if she needs any help. They end up showing her the way to the magic shop Hitomi was searching in order to find her grandmother from 60 years in the future, Kohaku.

In the magic shop, Hitomi finds out Kohaku is currently studying magic in England. Kohaku’s grandmother reads the letter Hitomi came with, and offers her a place to stay until Kohaku returns. The next day, Hitomi uses magic to find the azurite she dropped, and it turns out she dropped it in Yuito’s house.

She finds Yuito, and when looking at one of his drawings, she is able to see colors once again. Yuito realizes Hitomi is in front of him and he turns off the tablet with his drawing.

Hitomi explains why she was in Yuito’s house. Yuito tells her not to worry about it, and asks her to be more careful with magic. Kohaku’s parents apply Hitomi to the Minamigaoka high school, the same school Kohaku is going to. Her first day in the school, the classmates start avoiding her cause of her relation to Kohaku, who is known for breaking school property with her magic.

After meeting Kazeno Asagi, Hitomi is also introduced to the other members of Asagi’s photography club. Yuito wants to see Hitomi perform magic, which she does, creating a star, While being introduced to the photography club and their activities, Hitomi finds out that Yuito is the sole member of the arts club. Hitomi wanted to see Yuito’s drawing once again, and she finds him at the rooftop of the school.

She gets her wish, and Yuito expresses interest in seeing her magic once again, which makes Hitomi smile.

My thoughts

So far, this series has really grabbed my attention. First of all, the art and the animation is stunning, the best quality since the Winter season of anime, when we had Sora Yori mo Tooi Basho and Violet Evergarden. The character designs work really well. The way Hitomi’s sense of color is portrayed and the scenes when she saw Yuito’s drawing for the first time are breathtaking.

The story has good potential. Time travel is involved, something that in most cases works for me. Magic being involved but not directly, but more as a hobby of sorts, is interesting for me to see. So far, in the shows I’ve seen with magic and school involved, it was in special magic schools and it made a huge importance to the story.

Here, it doesn’t seem to be as direct as that. Hitomi losing her sense of color is a new thing in anime for me, and I’m looking forward to see where will they go with that concept. And ofcourse, then there is Kohaku, and the reasons why she even sent Hitomi to the past. Loads to look forward to storywise.

Hitomi is a character I really enjoy so far. She is telling herself she doesn’t mind being alone, but deep inside she knows that is not the case. It seems she was isolated from the others in the past. I love how she reacts to things from 60 years behind her time, like when she had trouble opening a window, or when she didn’t recognize a sticking plaster. I’m looking forward to her growth and overcoming of her problems.

Yuito seems to be misunderstood by others, as they think he is only interested in drawing and nothing else. He is similar in personality to Hitomi and his drawings give her back what she lost – her sense of color.

Sound is another great aspect of this show. The OP and ED feel beautiful and refreshing. I really have no complaints about the rest of the OST, as it fits the mood every time.

Overall, this is looking like it’s gonna be among my top shows this season, and possibly year as well. It does everything right for me so far and I’m glad I picked it up. I highly recommend you do the same too